Satchmo Summerfest celebrates New Orleans native, Louis Armstrong’s birthday with 3 days of music on multiple stages and food booths from local vendors. Always marked by summer heat, the festivals provides shady tents and symposiums on Armstrong and related topics in the air conditioned Old U.S. Mint, home of the New Orleans Jazz Museum where you can find Armstrong’s first coronet.
The Roots of Music kicked things off with a lively concert on Esplanade Ave. Providing instruments, education, tutoring, meals and a ride home, the non-profit program serves hundreds of at-risk youths (8-14 years old). Roots of Music co-founder and Grammy Award-winning snare drummer of Rebirth Brass Band, Derrick Tabb looked on from under the canopy of live oaks arching over the wide street. It was a great way to start the day and a reminder of the importance of keeping the city’s traditions and culture alive.
Lunch was Fried Green Tomato & Shrimp Remoulade from Cafe Dauphine ($8) and Rusty Pelican’s Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya ($6). We enjoyed the traditional jazz of Preservation Hall’s Preservation Brass (AKA PresHall Brass) then got into the funky-rock-jazz of Cyril Neville with Omari Neville and The Fuel.
For supper we enjoyed a juicy 2-patty cheeseburger from The Company Burger ($10) and Lasyone’s Meat Pies’ refreshing Bayou Shrimp & Blue Cheese Salad ($8). I always love the party energy of the all-female Original Pinettes Brass Band. Between the blurred dimly-lit photos and my desire to dance, I abandoned my photography at some point and danced myself silly.
We finished the evening with Corey Henry & the Treme Funktet. Our city is full of musical family legacies. Sadly, the Neville family just lost Art of The Neville Brothers and founding member of The Meters. But the legacies continue and Corey Henry’s daughter, Jazz Henry, plays trumpet with the Pinettes. I was thrilled to see Corey accompanied by Papa Grows Funk’s June Yamagishi on guitar. We really are so spoiled for music and food here.
The festival continues through Sunday!